“Crime takes place because Delhi attracts a large number of migrants. There are a large number of unauthorized colonies. And these migrants who settle in the city’s northwest colonies carry a kind of behaviour which is unacceptable in any modern city.“
-P. Chidambaram, Union Minister for Home Affairs, on increased crime rate in Delhi
So, PC is in the news again. Well, for someone who is the Union Minister of Home Affairs of India, being in the news isn’t something surprising. But, then, PC seems to be hell-bent on hogging the limelight for all regrettable reasons. Of late, PC is reported to have blamed migrants for the increased crime rate in Delhi, following closely on the lines of our parochial leaders like Bal Thackeray.
What’s more, Thackeray seems to have welcomed PC’s statement reinstating his anti-migrant stand simultaneously also condemning him for having publically withdrawn a statement that is an everyday reality in India, according to the Thackeray camp.
It’s foolish for the Home Minister to have uttered these words publically in a country that is formed of migrants. The migrant “issue” (if that is how it is to be described) is not one in a particular state alone. If there are Biharis and UPs in Maharashtara, there are Bengalis and Gujratis in Delhi just as there are Odiyas and Punjabis in Hyderabad. People from all corners of the city migrate from one place to another in search of better education, employment opportunities, and for multiple personal and/or professional reasons. If this were not so, India would not have been a ‘free’ country (free at least with this regard, if not anything else).
Firstly, to equate growing population of migrants with crime rates is completely baseless and stupid as the two have no connection whatsoever; they are two completely unrelated concepts. It is as ridiculous as saying that the number of rats in the house have increased because the rat-poison manufacturer went on a vacation! (Pardon my disastrous analogy)
Secondly, targeting migrants in this manner is quite risky in a country that has a huge chunk of population who belong to this category; PC should have known that.
Why isn’t anybody getting into the root of the problem? Even a tenth-grader will tell you that if crime rates have increased in a particular city, something ought to be wrong with the security system. Does Delhi Police deliver enough? Are they approachable? Do the people responsible for ensuring law and order in the state themselves have a criminal record? Are they even enough in number, to tackle the increasing cases of murder, robbery, loot, theft and rape?
As the DNA editorial asserts, urban crime require “diligence, manpower, information and awareness” in order to be tackled effectively. Where do the migrants even come into the picture here? It sounds completely bizarre. In any case, we are talking about crime here. The possible causes for criminal mentality has little to do with the whereabouts of the criminal in question (unless of course there’s some past history that has had a psychological effect on him/her…but that’s too far-fetched to even speculate). It is interesting to note here that PC himself is a migrant, in strict terms, something that he later admitted and accepted while publically withdrawing his statement.
For anyone with any political knowledge (and believe me, I’m not one of them), it should be clear that such statements are a cheap way of diverting the attention of the public from current real issues of JPC probe into the spectrum scam, land scams in Karnataka, corruption and nepotism charges on BSY, corporate lobbying and so on and so forth (too many to even list here)
PC, you need a break!
Also read: Editorial published in The New Indian Express